Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Hedging My Bets

It was a productive weekend in terms of finishing things and racking up the meters for Stash Dash, but as I predicted, it's going to come down to the wire.

First, the finished object: I finally finished the hat that has been on the needles for way too long.

The crown ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would (which makes sense given how many stitches I had on the needles!), but I did finish it and get it blocked. I have the pattern roughly written out using my very scientific method of notes on slips of paper, so now it's a matter of getting it typed and into a layout so I can send it to my tech editor. I used a little more than three quarters of my skein of yarn, 281.6 m toward my total.

And though it's not Sunday, I'll share the finished photos of the skein you saw pre-wash on Sunday. It poofed up perfectly!

Polwarth, as I mentioned, does have a tendency to puff up when it's washed; Polwarth is a result of cross-breeding Merino and Lincoln sheep. In the past, I've had it puff up so much that what looked like, say, fingering weight fresh off the wheel turn into sport or DK after washing. But this particular skein stayed firmly in fingering territory, and the poofing it did resulted in a slight tightening of the ply so it's just like I like it. The final yardage was just shy of 417 yards or about 380 meters. The Stash Dash handspun rules allow you to count the length of the skein for each time the yarn passes through your hands, so the total number of plies plus one for plying. For a two-ply yarn, that means length times three, so this skein counted for 1,140.9 meters toward my total.

At the moment, my Stash Dash total is 14,868 m. I am so close to 15K -- just 132 meters left to go! Unfortunately, my WIPs are all are the large side, and I thought it unlikely that I'd finish one by Friday. So what to do? Start another spinning project, of course!

This is some natural Finnsheep roving that I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2016(!), when it was the featured breed and there was a special tent for Finnsheep breeders. The fiber, which apparently came from a sheep named Stormy from a farm in the middle of Pennsylvania, is very minimally processed -- there's lots of VM to pick out and a good amount of lanolin softening my hands as I spin. I'm spinning the roving from beginning to end and plan to ply from both ends. I'm sure that I'll end up with more than enough meters in the end to get me over the 15K mark, but this particular spin is doing double duty of getting me to spin something that's been in my mental queue for far too long.

I'm not making myself crazy with the spinning and still doing some knitting, and I've turned my attention back to my Torbellino sweater. I'm still on the body and have a little more than 6 inches left to knit before the next section where I have to pay attention (the short rows that make the back of the sweater a little longer than the front).

If you look closely, you'll see that I'm almost at the end of my first skein of my main color, and that's one way I've been able to see that I'm making progress -- it seems like the body of this sweater should be going a lot faster than it has! I am starting to see some signs outside that fall is not that far away, so I'm hopeful that that's enough motivation to get me to really focus on this project. I am very much looking forward to weather that's cool enough to require a sweater!


  1. The sweater looks so, so elegant, perfect for parties and "glamouring up"! I really love that colour combination. The hat looks great as well!
    Good luck with the spinning, you can do it! The finished yarn is super beautiful, and I love the new fibre! (Somehow, natural fibre have a magic of their own).

    1. I'm really looking forward to having this sweater finished, which should (fingers crossed!) be just in time for fall weather.

  2. That finished yarn is gorgeous. I'm glad you're so happy with it.

    And your sweater is so pretty!! You've made so much progress :)

    1. Thanks, Katie! It's always a good feeling to finish something and have it come out just the way you wanted it to.

  3. Your torquoise yarn is gorgeous! Love the finished hat - so colorful and Torbellino is very, very elegant!

  4. so much pretty yarn stuff! and I LOVE how the hat turned out. that slipped stitch and the black really looks sharp! sadly, it will be another month (or even 6 weeks?), I think, before I contemplate a Fall-ish cast-on - surely we'll have at least a day of Sweater Weather in October, right?!

  5. I love Finn... it is a most pleasant spin! And your finished yarn is really beautiful, Sarah!